UN approves $10 mln from Peacebuilding Fund for Nepal

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United Nations, Sep 10 (UNI) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has approved 10 million dollar in assistance to Nepal from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, established two years ago to help countries emerging from conflict consolidate their gains and avoid slipping back into bloodshed.

After Mr Ban Ki-moon declared Nepal, which is rebuilding after the curtain fell in 2006 on its civil war which claimed over 13,000 lives, eligible for aid in December, nearly two dozen UN agencies and other partners reviewed how the world body can help tackle challenges that lie ahead.

In April, the Himalayan nation held polls for the Constituent Assembly. The following month, it abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and is now the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

''With the elections behind us, we have entered a complex period of transition in Nepal, with heightened expectations from its people, two-thirds of whom live on less than two dollar a day,'' the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Ian Martin said in a statement released here.

Nepal's political parties are now tasked with deciding on the structure of the new State, drafting a constitution and addressing the issue of the two armies in the country.

Strengthening the State's capacity to sustain peace is a priority area for support from the Peacebuilding Fund, UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal Robert Piper said.

Possible target areas for the funds include supporting the Constituent Assembly and promoting human rights, recovery of communities and areas hit-hard by conflict though food-and-cash-for-work schemes and other initiatives and conflict prevention and the promotion of reconciliation.

About 270 million dollar has been contributed to the Fund by dozens of nations and groups since its launch in October 2006, surpassing its 250 million dollar funding target.

''The Peacebuilding Fund approach is based on the recognition that stable peace must be built on social, economic and political foundations that serve the needs of the population,'' the Secretary-General wrote in a report made public earlier this month.

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